The Uniform Power of Attorney Act passed in WV in 2012 sets forth how to execute a valid financial power of attorney. The new law includes a statutory form. By executing a financial power of attorney you are giving your agent authority to access your money and property starting immediately. This gives the agent full access to buy, sell, trade, and spend money and property depending on the specific powers you give through the statutory form. Consulting with an attorney about whether you need a power of attorney and if so what it should include is the safest way to protect your interests in considering this kind of planning. Unlike a will or a medical power of attorney, executing this kind of document without careful consideration can make your money, your home, and your belongings vulnerable to exploitation.
To be a valid power of attorney, it must be signed by the principal (the person who is giving the authority to the agent) and the signature must be notarized. Witnesses are not required for financial powers of attorney, unlike for medical powers, living wills, and wills, where two witnesses are required.
West Virginia law states specifically how a medical power of attorney must be written to take effect.
For more information, see Uniform Power of Attorney Act, W. Va. Code §§ 39B-1-101, et seq. (2015) .